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Fri Apr 18 02:40:24 SAST 2014

We'll hold you to that promise, Minister Motshekga

The Times Editorial | 27 February, 2013 00:06

The Times Editorial: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has placed her head on the block and she should not cry foul when we hold her to her words.

Yesterday, the minister said "mud schools" would become a thing of the past.

"By 2015, in terms of mud schools, we should be done," she declared.

School infrastructure has long been a problem but when the issue has been raised, the government has tended not to give clear answers.

Motshekga's statement yesterday will give us ammunition to act if the 344 mud schools, most of them in the Eastern Cape, are not done away with.

In a country that gives its ministers and other state officials comforts that include accommodation in top hotels around the world, it is a shame that there are even mud schools to talk about.

Though greater focus will fall on building new schools, the minister should also look at the infrastructure in other schools.

Last year, this paper and sister publications highlighted the pain and shame that our children endure in some of their schools. In many, there is just one toilet.

In some instances, teachers and pupils shield themselves under umbrellas while lessons are conducted in classrooms with broken roofs.

Pupils risk their lives in classrooms whose walls are cracked.

For education to take a turn for the better, we should invest more in building proper schools and making sure that we provide our children with decent infrastructure.

As ministers brief the nation following President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation speech, what we need as a nation is concrete plans and set dates.

Motshekga has raised her hand and we will hold her to her promise.

Come 2015 and we still have mud schools, the minister should resign.

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Fri Apr 18 02:40:24 SAST 2014 ::